The CJEU as a 'laboratory' of comparative analysis : a theoretical and case-based study of the Europeanisation of private law
Title: The CJEU as a 'laboratory' of comparative analysis : a theoretical and case-based study of the Europeanisation of private law
Author: LAW, Stephanie
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2014
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Law
This thesis seeks to determine whether, and if so, in what form, comparative analysis constitutes a theoretical and methodological component of the Europeanisation of private law; following a review of legislative efforts at harmonisation, the thesis evaluates the CJEU as a “comparative laboratory”. It begins with an exploration of the nature of Europeanisation and integration, which highlights the significance of the political, economic and legal as well as social and cultural contexts in which these processes occur. In light of this initial analysis, from which the significance of the national foundations of private law also comes to the fore, the European space is advanced as one of commonality and diversity of legal cultures and traditions. Recognising the unlikelihood of the codification of private law, the thesis makes a plea for the recognition of a shift in the perspective of legal development, to one which acknowledges the dynamic nature of private law as it emerges within a pluralist, multi-level construct of regulation. Against this background and in light of the contextual perspective to which it gives rise, the thesis argues that comparative analysis might facilitate the development of such a perspective, particularly in light of the role of the courts, both national and European. Notwithstanding this potential, a critical assessment of contemporary comparative law reveals its theoretical and methodological poverty and illustrates the need for a developed understanding of “complex” comparison, engaging this aforementioned shift in perspective. The foundations of the evaluation of the CJEU as a “comparative laboratory” are brought to light via a socio-legal assessment of its constitution and jurisdiction; the evaluation thereafter intertwines the theoretical and case-based analyses, engaging the preliminary reference procedure as a fundamental epistemological standpoint and concretising the discourse with three case examples of CJEU jurisprudence, in which conflicts of a private law nature arise. These case analyses provide the foundations for the construction of two classifications, namely of the sources of comparison in the CJEU and of the context and purposes for which comparison is engaged, both of which illustrate the existence of comparative analysis as a tool of interpretation. A second round of evaluation advances and facilitates the understanding of the relevance of comparative analysis not only as a tool of interpretation but also as a second-order device, in respect of the CJEU’s development of its “meta-mechanisms” of Europeanisation and integration, essentially building on the analysis undertaken to ask why comparative analysis should be engaged by the Luxembourg Court.
Defence date: 4 September 2014; Examining Board: Professor Fabrizio Cafaggi, EUI (Supervisor); Professor Hans-W. Micklitz, EUI; Professor Geneviève Saumier, McGill University; Professor Carla Sieburgh, Radboud University Nijmegen
Type of Access: embargoedAccess